Collision Regulations – Near miss

31st October 2007

Collision Regulations - Near miss

Initial Report

Report Text:

My vessel was proceeding in the NE lane of the Dover Straits traffic separation scheme on a course of 046 (T), speed II kts, approx 4′ from the MPC buoy. My intention was to pass the MPC buoy and cross the SW bound lane, bound for Immingham

The vessel XXX was noted on my port side proceeding across the Traffic Separation scheme from the Dover side with a CPA of 0.5′.

As the XXX was making no attempt to avoid a close quarters situation I attempted to contact him on VHF channels 11, 13 and 16 but he refused to answer, attempts by Gris Nez Traffic to contact him on channel 11 also met with no success.

Following this I decided to reduce my speed just in case of any further problems as I felt that a 0.5′ crossing of my bow was not sufficient and he eventually passed across my bow at just over 0.7′.

Gris Nez Traffic finally made contact with him after he was across and clear of me and I managed to speak to him myself shortly after, when asked why he was not following the Collision Regulations the call was cut off and he refused to answer.

A formal complaint has been lodged with Gris Nez Traffic.

There was no reason for what this ship did as there was no traffic behind me other than the fact that a bow crossing of 0.5′ was the normal practice for this ship.

CHIRP Comment:

There is a  traditional saying that a miss is as good as a mile. This is not a philosophy to which we subscribe as it takes no account of the risk involved. in this case, when the OOW of the give-way vessel decided to pass 0.5 mile ahead of the stand-on vessel, did he give any thought to the consequence of an engine failure on his own ship ?

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